The burnt remains of a 21 year old lesbian have reportedly been found in a disused toilet in Kwazulu Natal. By the time her body was discovered, dogs had already begun to scavenge her bones.
According to the Star newspaper, Ncumisa Mzamelo lived as an openly lesbian woman; a fact which her friends believe was the motive behind her murder.
While police have yet to confirm the body’s identity through DNA tests, the community is convinced it is Mzamelo, a newspaper vendor who disappeared on the 7th of November.
“The way she died points to a deep-rooted hatred. There was nothing left of her, just a skull, a spinal cord and a pelvic bone,” Mpume Mbatha, director of the local NGO Project Empower, told the newspaper.
Police in Bhambayi, New Town C, Indaba are investigating the killing but no arrests have yet been made.
Acclaimed lesbian photographer Zanele Muholi said that she was sad and extremely disturbed by the news of Mzamelo’s death.
“This comes at a critical period in which we are supposedly attempting to end violence on women and children in our country. Today marks eight days after the beginning and before the end of 16 Days of Activism,” she said.
South Africa has been plagued by a spate of murders and rapes of lesbian women. Activists have warned that hate crimes and the “corrective rapes” of lesbians in South Africa are reaching crisis proportions.